The 2018 Asian Games will be the 18th edition of the games. Asian games commonly known as Asiad 2018 will be played in the cities of Jakarta and Palembang. And you will get every major and minor detail here on the Best Sports Website in India.
It may sound odd to some ears, but the degrading days of Indian Football are far behind us. Indian Football is not a laughing matter anymore for our own people and the rest of the world.
Indian National Football team coach Stephen Constantine along with the skipper Sunil Chettri has turned the condition of the Indian Football upside down. New and improved Indian team version 2.0 can take on even the biggest names in the game.
Indian Football team has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 plus they will be playing in the upcoming Jakarta Asian Games 2018. This is an opportunity quite unlike any other for Indian team to bring the glorious golden days back. Hopefully, Indian team will give everything they have and get through the knockout stage and atleast get to the top 8. There are chances that we could be in for a better treat and maybe see our team goes to the semi-finals.
The Golden Days of Indian Football (1950-1970)
During the dawn of the Asian Games, Indian Football was wicked good and they were at their best. To put it in simple way, India was the top Asian team and the first even to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 1950 excluding the Dutch colonised Indonesian team in 1938. Although, India didn’t took part in the World Cup 1950 and withdrew before the world cup took place.
India was on their supreme when the Asian games started. They grabbed the gold medal in the inaugural edition of the Asian Games in 1951 in New Delhi. Although, India couldn’t make it to the semi-finals in the next Asian Games in Manila, 1954. They made an impact in the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and finished 4th proving their dominance in modern football once again. Again, in the Tokyo Asian Games 1958, India finished 4th.
Indian team reached the top again when they won the Golden in the Jakarta Asiad in 1962. The finals was played between India and the current top Asian team South korea, where India defeated South Korea 2-1. In 1966 Asiad, India managed to finish as the first runner ups. Indian Football was the most consistent in all of Asia and was growing like crazy. But soon it came to an end.
The decline phase of Indian Football (1970 – Present)
The decline of Indian Football started in 1966 when in a shocking turn of events they were eliminated earlier in the Asian Games 1966 Bangkok. In 1970, Asian games were held again in Bangkok and India defeated Japan 1-0 and win the bronze medal. Although, that was the last time India reached to the Semi-finals of the Asian Cup or any other major Asian Football tournament.
Although, we did saw a glimpse of quality in the Indian Football in 1982 Asian Game in New Delhi when India reached the Quarter-finals but that was it. For 36 years, Indian football has struggled in Asiad and almost every other major tournament.
Present Indian Football Team at the Jakarta Asian Cup (2018)
Although, this time Indian Football has transformed from mere crybabies to game-makers and match winners. This time India did not get any wild=card entry, they qualified following the new standards of AFC Asian Cup 2018.
There is a significant improvement in the Indian Football in last couple of years in terms of gameplay, teamwork and rankings. In 2013, India was laying low at 173rd position while currently they were at 97. Fair margin of distance covered in such a short span of time. Kudos, to India.
There could be a slight displacement in India’s current ranking according to FIFA’s new updated ELO ratings transition but that doesn’t change the fact that India is a fast developing name in Asian Football.
There were uncertainties about India making it to the Jakarta Asiad following the new qualifying policies but they have finally made it but the Women’s team still need an official clearance.
Current Asian Games football tournament is an Under-23 event with only 3 over-aged players allowed as per the latest standards. Current Indian Football team has has such players in abundance and that’s why coach Stephen Constantine pleaded to the government for Indian team’s entry in Jakarta Asian Games 2018.
This team is filled with future stars and with performances such as in Hero Intercontinental Cup 2018 there spirits must have been lifted higher. Some of the team members have played in the U-17 FIFA World Cup where they played against experienced and much bigger names.
Can Sunil Chettri and boys work their magic in the Asian Cup 2018? Only time will tell. We can just hope that Indian team keeps on improving and making it huge in the big events. The Best Sports Website in India will keep on bringing you every football and other facts with updates.